Seven more senior police officers sacked for failing vetting over corruption and forgery

National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi

Seven more senior police officers were sacked on Wednesday after they failed the vetting process.

They were accused of engaging in criminal activities, corruption, human trafficking, smuggling and forgery of academic certificates.

Another officer is under investigation for allegedly using his relative's certificate to be recruited to the service and has since served for the last 22 years. Superintendent Nelson Omwenga Nyakundi whose real name is Charles Nyakeri is said to have used certificates of his cousin who is currently a principal of a secondary school in Kisii to be recruited.

National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi said Mr Nyakundi would be subjected to disciplinary action for using certificates that do not belong to him in police recruitment.

The officer's documents showed he was in Standard Eight when he was only 10 years old.

“There is no way he would be in class one while aged one. Even his relatives were shocked to learn of the findings. This probe was launched after a complaint was lodged here,” he said.

The seven were among 31 officers whose vetting results were last October withheld for further investigations.

Among the officers dismissed are SSPs Lawrence Martin Kariuki, William Meto Kiprotich and Joseph Kipkemoi Kemeli. Others are SPs Jackson Muriuki Magambo, Samuel Olentutu Olenkiti and Mr Samuel Bore Kipwese and Assistant Superintendent of Police Peter Kemboi Chemos.

Out of 24 officers found suitable 10 are senior superintendents, 10 superintendents and 4 assistant superintendents.

Kavuludi said the officers may request for a review of the decision by the commission in line with vetting regulation 33(1) provided the request is based on the discovery of a new and important matter which was not within the knowledge of, or could not be provided by the officer at the time determination was made.

The review can also be based on “some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record or any reason that the commission considers just and proper.”

Other allegations include submission of fake bank statements and M-PESA statements, unprofessional conduct and failure to provide documents or information required by the commission.

“The vetting of this cohort also brought into sharp focus the role of electronic money transfer, especially M-PESA in facilitating corruption,” he pointed out.

“Through a scrutiny of M-PESA statements, the commission was able to establish a worrying trend where junior police officers remitted money to their seniors regularly.”

During the probe of the 31 officers, the commission discovered that most M-PESA kiosks within and around police stations are either owned or contracted by police for purposes of “facilitating direct money transfers in order to cover their tracks.”

The depositors, according to the commission are mostly motorists or junior officers making transfers to their seniors.

The next cohort to be vetted represents the backbone of policing services in the country as it includes chief inspectors and inspectors of police both from Kenya Police and Administration Police posts, which is the basic units of service delivery and the beginning point of the criminal justice system.

Others to be vetted include officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and traffic police officers.

Kavuludi says the commission is in the process of compiling a list of all these officers who number about 12,000.

The objective of the vetting is to build confidence and trust in the National Police Service.

The applicable vetting standards include officers’ satisfaction of entry and training requirements, their professional conduct and discipline, integrity, financial probity and respect for human rights.